Konfir Kabo was born in Makassar, Sulawesi, on 1 October 1973. He spent his childhood years in the port city, before moving to Australia for high school. Kabo then went on to study law, with the aim of helping migrants coming to Australia.
“I did not plan to be a lawyer, but when I finished high school I got into law. I then started working for NA Young and Co Solicitors and decided to open my own firm in 2001 (called Konfir Kabo Migration Lawyer at that time) as I saw a lot of migrants that required assistance,” explains Kabo.
Kabo faced many challenges opening his own business, none more so than trying to understand how to run a business in Australia. However, he persevered and has gone on to build Kabo Lawyers into a successful migration law firm. The secret he says is, “hard work, not being afraid to ask questions and not being afraid of failures.”
Besides running his own law firm, Kabo is also a budding filmmaker having already made two films. “At the moment, it is still a learning experience, I think I will be able to tell you a bit more once we have released the second movie, Tujuh Bidadari (Seven Angels) in Jakarta on 25 October 2018,” explains Kabo modestly.
He also contributes a lot to the Indonesian community in Melbourne, being a long-term supporter of a number of community events and of OZIP magazine. “I think it is my duty as an Indonesian to contribute to the community as we are a small community here and we have to work together,” explains Kabo. He doesn’t see his contribution as “giving back” to the Indonesian community but rather as just being part of the community.
Kabo thinks the willingness of Indonesians to contribute and volunteer as well as the curiosity of Australians towards Indonesian culture are two of the key strengths of the community here in Australia. He thinks “a common long term vision on what we can achieve here together in Australia” is the key to making the community even stronger.
Kabo values Indonesian Independence Day (Hari Kemerdekaan) as a significant and important expression of Indonesian Nationalism, and looks forward to the upcoming celebrations around Melbourne.
“I am a mix of ethnic Chinese, Bugis and Makassan, and identify myself as an Indonesian. There is certainly no border around my ancestry, only recognition of heritage and history. The same can be said about Nationalism, border does not define it, the heart does,” states Kabo. Having lived in Australia for over 30 years, Kabo identifies Melbourne as his home and the home of his family. Nevertheless, Indonesia remains an important part of his life and what he calls his “conceptual home”.
Kabo’s expectation for Indonesia in the near future?
“I don’t have any expectations, but more hopes and prayers for prosperity for the people through economic achievements and security for all races and religions through law and political stability.”
Konfir Kabo is married to Monica Lim and has two boys, Kaeden (aged 15) and Maxell (aged 12). You can get in contact with Kabo by emailing Konfir.Kabo@kabolawyers.com for details. Kabo plans to continue to build the business, having recently moved Kabo Lawyers to a new office at Level 23, 360 Collins Street.
Text: Tim Flicker